Monthly Archives: September 2012

Guest Post – Blood of the King

Today, we’ve got a special post from Bruce Blake announcing the release of his book: Blood of the King.

Blood of the King (Khirro’s Journey Book 1)

 A kingdom torn by war. A curse whispered by dying lips. A hero born against his will.

Khirro never wanted to be anything more than the farmer he was born to be, but a Shaman’s curse binds him to the fallen king and his life changes forever.

Driven by the Shaman’s dying words, Khirro’s journey pits him against an army of the dead, sends him through haunted lands, and thrusts him into the jaws of beasts he wouldn’t have believed existed. In one hand he carries the Shaman’s enchanted sword, a weapon he can barely use; in the other he holds a vial of the king’s blood, the hope of the kingdom. His destination: the Necromancer’s keep in the cursed land of Lakesh. Only the mysterious outlaw magician can raise the king from the dead to save them all from the undead invasion, but can Khirro live long enough to deliver the vial?
Can a coward save a kingdom?

About Bruce Blake:

Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don’t take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.

Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn’t really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the “u” out of words like “colour” and “neighbour” then he does shovelling. The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of burlesque diva Miss Rosie Bitts.

Bruce has been writing since grade school but it wasn’t until six years ago he set his sights on becoming a full-time writer. Since then, his first short story, “Another Man’s Shoes” was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon, another short, “Yardwork”, was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod and his first Icarus Fell novel, “On Unfaithful Wings”, was published to Kindle in Dec., 2011. The second Icarus Fell novel, “All Who Wander Are Lost”, was released in July, 2012, with the first book in the two-part “Khirro’s Journey” epic fantasy coming Sept. 30. He has plans for at least three more Icarus novels, several stand alones, and a possible YA fantasy co-written with his eleven-year-old daughter.

www.on-unfaithful-wings.com

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Where Do We Go From Here?

So we’ve covered the things that make Gunpowder Fantasy similar to traditional Epic Fantasy, and we’ve covered the Gunpowder aspect of Gunpowder Fantasy, but Gunpowder weapons didn’t develop in a vacuum. Other technologies developed alongside rifles and today we’ll discuss a few of them.

 

Steam

Land

When using Steam in a Gunpowder Fantasy, you’ll want to be careful not to take it too far and wander into Steampunk territory. This would include things like fantastical creations, airships and flying machines.

Steam in a Gunpowder Fantasy will be limited to rail travel. Different levels of advancement in steam power will determine the exact details of your railway, but it’s hard to argue that having railroads won’t have a major impact on how your story develops.

With railroads available to the characters of your world, travel across large distances will be cut down to a fraction of what it would be without steam power and the ability to transport large numbers of soldiers or goods from one side of your world to another will impact the course of your world.

When I was building Zaria, as I had mentioned before, I had initially decided on a much smaller world. But when I decided to use steam power, I realized that in order to keep the extended timeline that I wanted to maintain, I had to make my world much larger.

Sea

Steam power on the sea is another element that can have a major impact on your world, if you are so inclined. Steam propulsion led to faster travel over the sea and, eventually, to ironclad ships. If you’ve built a world where the sea is a major part of the story or plot, this can change things significantly.

 

Telegraphy

Where Steam power will allow your characters to travel much faster than in a traditional fantasy, Telegraphy will allow your characters to communicate quicker. The advantages of telegraphy, however, are not without their limitations. Telegraph lines can be cut or, perhaps worse, hijacked to provide false information.

For the nation of Ansgar, having instant communications across the entire nation was actually something that I wanted to limit, so I decided that their telegraph network would be built in independent sections. Riders are needed to carry messages from one network to the other, allowing me to build in a small communication lag that I use later for plot devices.

Guest Post – Blood of the King Excerpt

Today we’ve got a post from Bruce Blake. It’s an excerpt of his upcoming novel Blood of the King.

 

Blood of the King (Khirro’s Journey Book 1)

 

A vial of blood, a Shaman’s curse. A haunted land, monstrous beasts. A journey to save a kingdom.

 

Khirro never wanted to be anything more than the farmer he was born to be, but a Shaman’s curse binds him to the fallen king and his life changes forever.

 

Driven by the Shaman’s dying words, Khirro’s journey pits him against an army of the dead, sends him through haunted lands, and thrusts him into the jaws of beasts he wouldn’t have believed existed. In one hand he carries the Shaman’s enchanted sword, a weapon he can barely use; in the other he holds a vial of the king’s blood, the hope of the kingdom. His destination: the Necromancer’s keep in the cursed land of Lakesh. Only the mysterious outlaw magician can raise the king from the dead to save them all from the undead invasion, but can Khirro live long enough to deliver the vial?

Can a coward save a kingdom?

 

Read Chapter 1 – http://www.tamiparrington.com/2012/09/19/blood-of-the-king-excerpt/

Read Chapter 2 (Part 1) – http://www.writersownwords.com/chantal_boudreau/blog/1783/

Read Chapter 2 (Part 2) – http://bloodskies.com/indie-author-spotlight-bruce-blake-part-2/

 

Excerpt: Blood of the King

Chapter 3

 

The face of the dead warrior floated before Khirro’s eyes, lipless mouth pulled into a sneer, yellow teeth sharp and dangerous. Blood and pus seeped from its eyes and nostrils forming drops at the tip of its putrid nose. One drop lengthened into a string, separated, and landed square in the middle of Khirro’s forehead.

Khirro woke with a start, eye lids snapping open, breath short. There was no dead man threatening him, no rotted face, no blood-splashed mail. Instead, guttering torches threw dancing shadows against the walls of a windowless room. Khirro struggled to control his breathing and kept his head down as he lay on the dirt floor. From behind hooded eyes he observed figures moving, but who or how many, he didn’t know. His first memory was of the monstrous Kanosee soldier, then he recalled the black-robed man. And there had been others.

Khirro inched his hand toward the dirk hidden in his boot-top but pain in his shoulder kept him from drawing it—dislocated, perhaps broken. With no other choice, Khirro lay at the mercy of whoever dragged him here. After all that had happened, it didn’t surprise him he felt more relief than fear.

One figure he saw and recognized—the body of the king prone in the middle of the floor. Minutes passed and he came to realize there were three other men in the room. The black-robed figure bent over the king, whispering and gesturing. The king’s healer, he guessed. A shiver ran the length of Khirro’s spine. Rumor said this man was more than just a healer, something darker and deadlier who dabbled in arts outlawed in Erechania. Khirro hadn’t believed the stories until the flash of light felled his undead pursuer.

The other two men wore heavy armor. The taller of the two wore silver and gold plate embossed with the crossed sword and lightning insignia of the Kingsblade—the King’s personal guard—the other’s armor was plain black plate marked and dented with use.

Little life remains in the king,” the healer said without looking up. “Give me the vial, Gendred.”

The man in black plate pulled a glass vial from his belt and passed it to the healer. Gendred. Khirro had heard the name but never seen the man—few had, fewer had and lived. He was a Shadowman, one of an elite group of fighter-assassins Khirro had thought more fable than reality. On quiet watches, fantastic tales of the Shadowmen passed from soldier to soldier, building their legend. It became the goal of any good warrior to be drafted into their brotherhood. The thought never crossed Khirro’s mind.

The boy lives,” Gendred growled looking sideways at Khirro, his pock-marked face turned down in a sour look. Nothing about him looked friendly.

Leave him,” the healer said. “I’ll deal with him later.”

He held his hand above the king’s head, a whispered chant of rhythmic cadence coming from beneath the darkened hood. Khirro shifted to watch, his movement drawing a glare from the Shadowman. The third man stood against the far wall, arms folded across his chest, concern showing in the blue eyes peering from beneath bushy red brows.

The healer’s chant increased in volume, his pale hand shook. He spoke dusty, archaic words foreign to Khirro, unsettling, and he squirmed on the dirt floor in spite of himself. The king’s eyes stared wide and glassy at the high ceiling as it collected oily smoke twisting up from the torches. To Khirro, it looked as though Braymon had already passed to the fields of the dead, but the healer’s incantation continued.

The king gasped, his body jerked.

Startled, Khirro jumped, a bolt of pain lancing through his arm. The healer held the vial between thumb and index finger over Braymon’s torso, open end toward the king. Braymon’s back arched as though drawn toward the vial and Khirro held his breath. Gendred and the man of the Kingsblade watched silently. Above the king’s head, the healer’s hand quaked; the hand holding the vial remained steady.

It was just a single drop first, so small Khirro barely noticed. Another drop followed, then another. Khirro drew a sharp breath as the droplets expanded to a thin stream flowing from the king upward to the vial. Somehow, the blood from the king’s wounds collected at his midsection, concentrating in one place to defy the Gods’ laws. The fine stream of blood filled the vial as the healer continued chanting.

The container approached fullness and the stream waned, became droplets again, then stopped. The healer kept chanting as he turned the vial right side up, then his words ceased. The king’s body spasmed then moved no more, the end of the healer’s words releasing him to the fields of the dead. The officer of the Kingsblade and Gendred bowed their heads and kept their silence. Sadness gripped Khirro’s chest, surprising him.

Weep not for your king,” the healer said as he stood. He drew a cork from somewhere in his sleeve and capped the vial then waved his fingers around it and spoke more foreign words. Then he said, “All I need to retrieve the king from the fields of the dead is here in my hand.”

The warriors raised their eyes. Khirro wiped a tear from his face, hoping the men hadn’t seen, and looked at the vial, too. The flickering torchlight lent it a dull crimson glow.

We must dispose of the king’s flesh,” the healer said. “No one can know the king has fallen.”

What of this one, then, Shaman?”

Gendred gestured toward Khirro, speaking of him as though he wasn’t in the room, but Khirro barely noticed.

The rumors about the healer are true.

The healer turned his gaze toward Khirro. Something flickered beneath the cowl, impossibly far away. A shiver galloped up Khirro’s spine.

What is your name, soldier?”

Kh-Khirro.”

Khirro has done the kingdom a great service.” He paused as the torches flickered and spat in their sconces, then continued, his voice quiet, serious. “You have seen much.”

Khirro shook his head.

They mean to kill me.

But he’d risked his life to bring the king to them, surely that meant something. He fought the urge to crawl away from their gazes, to seek refuge in a shadowy corner of the room.

I won’t tell anyone,” he squeaked.

The healer chuckled, a sound like stone rubbed against stone.

Of course you won’t,” he said still looking at Khirro. Then, over his shoulder to the other men: “Bring him with us.”

Khirro’s chest felt as though it dropped into his stomach.

Bring him with us? Bring me where?

He stared into the blackness beneath the hood, searching for answers, but it revealed nothing. A horrible feeling flooded his aching body, one he’d never have expected: he found himself thinking he’d have been better off at the end of the monster’s axe.

That wouldn’t be wise,” the Shadowman said without looking at Khirro. His voice held the taut tone of a man containing his anger. It wouldn’t be long before Khirro realized it sounded thus because it was the truth of it. “He looks more farmer than fighter.”

But he’s a trained soldier of the king’s army,” the other man said and Khirro realized he knew him. They called him Rudric. He’d been one of the men leading Khirro’s training.

Hmph. He’ll slow us down at best, more likely get us killed. I have no desire to waste my time saving his skin at every turn.”

Blood rushed to Khirro’s face. He’d managed to get the king here with a monstrous creature at his heels. Didn’t that prove he was no longer a novice? He opened his mouth to protest the Shadowman’s words but snapped it shut remembering his blunders on the wall walk which had led to Braymon’s death. His ego shrank like a snail pulling its head into its shell.

He has seen too much for us to leave him,” Rudric said.

Does he mean they should spare me or kill me?

And he’ll be a burden if we take him,” Gendred added.

He means to kill me.

The healer looked at them. “Would you kill the man who has kept hope alive? Would you kill the man who has given us the opportunity to bring back our king?”

Gendred opened his mouth to protest, but the healer raised a hand, stopping him. The vial was gone from his grasp, disappeared somewhere into his robe.

Bring him with us.”

Rudric nodded, accepting the healer’s command, but Gendred remained motionless, the muscles of his jaw flexing as he ground his teeth.

Bring me where?” Khirro fought hard to keep his voice from trembling.

We are bound for Lakesh,” the healer answered.

Khirro’s breath caught in his throat.

Lakesh. The haunted land.

Biography

Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don’t take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.

Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn’t really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the “u” out of words like “colour” and “neighbour” then he does shovelling. The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of burlesque diva Miss Rosie Bitts.

Bruce has been writing since grade school but it wasn’t until five years ago he set his sights on becoming a full-time writer. Since then, his first short story, “Another Man’s Shoes” was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon, another short, “Yardwork”, was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod and his first Icarus Fell novel, “On Unfaithful Wings”, was published to Kindle in Dec., 2011. The second Icarus Fell novel, “All Who Wander Are Lost”, was released in July, 2012, and “Blood of the King”, the first book in the two-part “Khirro’s Journey” epic fantasy, will be released on Sept. 30. He has plans for at least three more Icarus novels, several stand alones, and a possible YA fantasy co-written with his eleven-year-old daughter.

Putting the Gunpowder in “Gunpowder Fantasy”


The Gunpowder in “Gunpowder Fantasy”

After you’ve decided on which aspects of traditional Epic Fantasy you intend to include in your world, you can look to the things that you will be able to do differently.

Some “Gunpowder Fantasy” (A.S. Warwicks’ Commonwealth Chronicles, William King’s Terrarch Chronicles) lean more toward the early Gunpowder Era and maintain more of a Muskets and Magic feel.

Prevalence

Who has access to Gunpowder in your world? Is it a common technology that nearly everyone uses, or is it in the hands of the few? Is there widespread production of gunpowder or is it a rare, precious commodity?

Creating a world where everyone has gunpowder leaves your armies on a mostly even playing field. They all have access to similar weapons and have to make their advantages out of intangibles: strategy, tactics, etc.

A setting where gunpowder is used only by the few can setup a massive disadvantage for one side or the other. You can put power into the hands of the producers by making gunpowder a rare commodity; make the recipe a secret known only to a few.

 

Weapons

The first, and probably the most obvious, element that is opened up when your choose to write Gunpowder Fantasy is the use of gunpowder weapons. From the arbuequs to the rifled musket, from simple smoothbore cannon to rifled barrels and siege mortars, the use of gunpowder weapons can have an effect that varies greatly on the path of your story.

 

Artillery

The first form of gunpowder weapons to consider is the artillery. Where in the “Gunpowder Era” you decide to set your world will determine your overall tech level, but even within those bounds there are many different types of artillery.

Smoothbore cannons, mortars, howitzers and rifled cannon are all options for your world to employ in artillery. Each of these types will have advantages and disadvantages that will have an effect on your world if you choose to add them to your armies.

Howitzers, for example, are typically shorter barreled, used to lob rounds at a steeper angle while not suffering from the short ranged mortars. In the Griffins & Gunpowder universe, I decided to forego the use of howitzers and my armies have to fight their battles accordingly. Earthworks become more important as it is more difficult to get rounds to fall directly behind them. This makes trench warfare more effective.

 

Small Arms

Artillery can have an effect on the way wars are fought in your world; small arms will have an effect

Choosing an earlier type of man-portable gunpowder weapon (say, the arbuequs) will leave your world more open to traditional medieval warfare (swords, bows and arrows, etc). This would be a more ideal setting for a warrior-type main character, someone who is going to be in and among the fight. Battles will be long and bloody and involve a great deal of hand-to-hand fighting.

Later weapons, such as rifled muskets, will create a major shift in the strategies of your world and how battles are fought. Gone will be the days of constant close fighting, and in will be the battles of tight formations of soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder and firing volleys, skirmishers with long rifles moving forward ahead of the main body to disrupt the enemy scouts and skirmishers, and the compact carbines, for quick moving cavalry attacks. Commanders will rely on strategy and manuevering, rather than brute force and superior numbers.

Some of the accessories to small arms that you can consider bringing into your world are bayonets and looking glasses (telescopes). Both of these will create a twist in the way that firearms are used in your world. Bayonets make hand-to-hand combat more brutal and makes your infantry more powerful at repelling cavalry charges.

Looking glasses create the possibility of sharpshooters and skirmishers. Attached to a rifled musket, looking glasses make your shooters more accurate at longer ranges. Skirmishers can be used as assassins, ordered to target the officers and commanders of the enemy force before they engage the main body of troops. Or they can be used as scouts and screening elements, the eyes and ears of the army who harass the skirmishers on the other side of the field and prevent them from learning the strength and dispositions of the armies.

Pistols/Revolvers

The last element of small arms to consider are the pistols and/or revolvers that will be used in your world. Like the other types of weapons, pistols and revolvers will be determined by the level of technology that you set for your world, but in the gunpowder era, revolvers and pistols were typically ahead of the curve.

There are two things to take into consideration when you’re planning out this part of your arsenal: do you want to use revolvers? If so, do you have these revolvers muzzle-load or use cartridges? Cartridge revolvers will increase the speed that the revolvers fire and reload at.

Pistols and revolvers were typically more expensive, which means that they were typically used only by officers and nobility. Whether you continue this into your worlds is up to you, but even an entire army armed with revolvers will have little effect on the flow of a battle until they are nearly too close to worry about reloading the weapons.

 

In the next article, we’ll talk about some of the other aspects of Gunpowder Era technology that can be incorporated into your world, including steam power and telegraphy.

 

Of Magic and Mythical Creatures

For the second post of “What is Gunpowder Fantasy” I’ll be discussing the use of magic and mythical creatures in the sub-genre. (The bulk of this post taken from my guest post at A Way With Worlds)

Magic

Magic has been in fantasy from the very beginning of modern Fantasy. C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkein both made extensive use of magic in their worlds.

So it would be natural that Magic would be another element of traditional fantasy that can be used to connect your Gunpowder Fantasy to the bulk of Epic Fantasy.

The exact nature of your magic system is up to you, but there are a few major points that you need to address when you’re building a magic system.

First, and with everything in your world, you have to make sure that you are consistent. If magic works one way at the beginning of the book, it needs to work the same way in the middle and at the end.

The Prevalence of Magic is usually one of the first aspects that I approach when I am building magic into one of my worlds. How common are magic users within your world? Are there mages and witches and wizards in every town and village? Or are they rare? Or is magic thought to be extinct except to a very select few?

One aspect of your world that will be affected by the Prevalence of Magic within your world, and one that not everyone considers when they are building their world, is the Impact on the technology of your world. If magic is extremely common, then technology will develop differently and perhaps more slowly than in a world where magic is rare or nearly extinct. Why develop improved weapons when everyone can cast a fireball with their minds?

Something that will affect and be affected by the Prevalence of Magic, is the Source: how does one go about becoming a magic user. Is it a natural gift? (Here you can increase or decrease the prevalence of magic by deciding on how common the gift is.) Is it a knowledge based system that only requires study and how common are the books that teach magic? Is Magic only gained through some ritual and how difficult are those rituals to perform? Lastly, can magic only be gained through some accident or event? This particular source would be best paired with magic that is very rare as accidents can’t be controlled.

With the Prevalence and Source of Magic decided, another aspect that must be approached is the Energy of Magic. What gives the user the ability to cast their spells? Do your magic users have to carry talismans of power? Do they need to draw their energy from themselves or from the people around them? This can be another factor in the Prevalence of Magic. A system that is learned by anyone is all well and good, but if it relies on certain talismans that are very rare, then very few will be able to learn.

Limits of Magic is an aspect of your system that is very important. Magic systems without limits can become boring quickly if there is nothing to keep magic users in check. Even stories where the magic users seem to have unlimited power should have some weakness, otherwise the story can’t progress.

Limits can come in many different forms, several of which are similar to the Source of Magic and can tie into Prevalence. Your magic system can be limited by Knowledge: mages must learn spells and those scrolls or tomes can be rare. You can limit your magic through the Energy of Magic: if the mage has to draw from their own energy, at some point they should become exhausted and unable to cast new spells. You can use other magic-users as a Limit: anyone who grows too powerful or too reckless can be put down by other magic users.

An aspect of your magic system that is more open to personal interpretation is Divisions of Magic. This aspect isn’t integral to the system, but can add flavor to it. You can have your divisions “hard”: magic users can only draw from a single school or aspect of magic. Soft divisions allow magic users to draw on any aspect that they have access to (this ties into your Source and Energy categories).

The magic system that I use in my Griffins & Gunpowder universe is rather limited. I would rate it as “Rare” Prevalence: only a certain, random portion of Elves are born with The Gift. This covers both the Prevalence, Source and Impact: technology in this universe has advanced to rifles and early steam power. Magic users can draw from energy within themselves, and can “store” this energy beforehand to have ample supply, and some can draw on the energies and emotions of those around them.

Magic users in the Griffins & Gunpowder universe are limited by both energy and knowledge. They will quickly burn through even the largest “stockpile” of energy and must study spells to perfect them. This is further complicated by the fact that magic users have a Major and Minor aspect that are randomly drawn from one of the four divisions: Shadow, Light, Life and Death. Books teaching each of these aspects are rare and the magic users have to learn prerequisite spells before they can learn more advanced selections.

So, when planning a Magic system remember to maintain consistency and consider each aspect of your system and how it impacts the other aspects and your story in general.

 

Mythical Creatures

I was considering folding this discussion into the “Settings” part of my little series here, but I decided to give Mythical Creatures their own quick discussion.

Dragons are probably the best known mythical creatures used in Fantasy. They’re iconic. But there are many other types of mythical creatures that can be used to tie your Gunpowder Fantasy to mainstream Fantasy.

Going through the Pantheon.org Beastiary is a great way to find mythical creatures that could fit into your world.

You can use these mythical creatures as they were originally believed to be or you can turn the stereotypes on their heads and use your mythical creatures in a completely different way. I would suggest keeping the more popular mythical creatures at least vaguely similar to their more popular myths, but it’s your world.

What is Gunpowder Fantasy?

Several of the blog tour stops that I’ve been hosted at recently have asked “What is Gunpowder Fantasy?” It’s not an established sub-genre, so this question is definitely understandable. My short answer sums it up very well: Elements of epic fantasy (magic, mythical creatures, elves and vast scale) combined with rifles and railroads. But that only begins to scratch the surface of what Gunpowder Fantasy is, and what it’s capable of.

 

Setting

One of the things about Gunpowder Fantasy that can connect it to traditional Epic Fantasy is the setting that you build for your story. Traditional Epic Fantasy usually takes place in a medieval setting, with castles and kings and knights. In the Griffins and Gunpowder universe, the nation of Ansgar has been stagnated by a millenium of peace and prosperity. Castles dot the landscape, home to lesser lords and nobles. The King holds court over their people and pass decrees without consulting their advisors.

Other nations in my world have more 19th century cultures: open towns, railroads and industry. But the main part of the story remains true to settings typical of Epic Fantasy.

Setting will likely be one of the first things that you establish when you bring new readers into your world. I try to pepper aspects of Epic Fantasy with some of the more unique elements that Gunpowder Fantasy introduces to them.

You want to make sure that your setting will support the storyline that you’ve developed. For me, this meant changing the size of the world when I decided to go ahead and use steampower as a method of transportation. My original nation of Ansgar was barely a thousand miles long; with the addition of railroads to facilitate travel, my storyline would have been severely compressed. So, I stretched the nation out.

 

Scale

Another aspect of Epic Fantasy that you can carry over into Gunpowder Fantasy is scale. Epic Fantasy is known for telling stories of massive events that bring nations to their knees, of world-changing events that sweep up everything in their path. You can use the economy of scale in your favor, to give the readers something that they can equate to Epic Fantasies they may have read.

Scale can also help you set up a world that plays host to many different stories. If you design a world that is rich in history and populated by many nations, there’s no end to the number of series and stories that you can build on your world.

The world of Zaria is huge. Dozens of nations, both large and small, struggle against the elements, against each other and even against themselves across the face of the planet. The Ansgari Rebellion series will only touch on one part of this massive world; other series and stories will tell the tale of different nations, different characters.

 

Stay tuned for the next post on “What Is Gunpowder Fantasy?” in which I’ll discuss the use (or not) of Magic in Gunpowder Fantasy and  introduce some of the concepts that become available when you write Gunpowder Fantasy…

Blog Stops 9/10 – 9/14

This week The Cerberus Rebellion will be featured and reviewed at five different sites across the internet.

9/10 Long and Short Reviews – Science Fiction/Fantasy

9/11 World of Dreams

9/12 It’s Raining Books

9/13 Alway’s a Booklover

9/14 Lindsay’s Scribblings

Separate from the previous weeks’ blogs, these blogs will also be running a giveaway. One commentor at each stop will receive their choice of one of my Griffins & Gunpowder short stories and a random commentor for this week will win a copy of The Chesian Wars, the short story collection that includes an exclusive prelude short story.

Additionally, I’ll be featured on the Kindle Fire Department and Kindle Author as the Book of the Day, and will have an interview posted at Two Ends of the Pen  on 9/14.

So, a lot going on this week. Please swing by, show the love and leave a comment. Thanks!

The Wandering Mind

I have a problem that I think most creative people have: my mind is always creating new projects for me to work on.

My mind keeps creating new, interesting worlds that threaten to take away time from my current project (The Ansgari Rebellion series, right now).

The current distraction that is blossoming in the back of my mind is the concept of a sci-fi space opera written and released in a TV Series-style Episode format. There will a Series-Plot; inside of that, there will be Seasons which will each have a Plot; within the Seasons, each episode will have a plot.

The reason that this is threatening so strongly to consume my time is the recent announcement of the Kindle Serials program. Amazon is instituting a program in which customers can pay a 1-time amount and will automatically receive all future episodes for free, and automatically.

I’ve got the first three “Episodes” (approximately 50,000 words) plotted out with basic, one-sentence plot ideas for the next 3 episodes.

I might take a break and get these pounded out once I get The Hydra Offensive through the first draft. We’ll see if my resolve is that strong.

For my fellow writers, what’s threatening to take you away from the project that you *should* be working on?

Blog Stops 09/07/12

Ending the first week of blog tour stops for The Cerberus Rebellion, we have Lisa Haselton hosting a Blurb stop.

Additionally, the wife has offered to the host a Blurb Stop as well. A special thanks to her, not only for putting up a post for The Cerberus Rebellion, but for everything she’s done to support me in my writing endeavors. She did the covers for my three short stories and the text work on Cerberus’ cover. Visit her blog at Point Me 2 The Sky Above

You have two chances to win a copy of one of the Griffins & Gunpowder short stories; leave a comment at both blogs to get your chance!’

Blog Stops 09/06/12

Today includes two tour stops for The Cerberus Rebellion: Hope. Dreams. Life…Love and Travel the Ages

Head on over, take a look and leave a comment.